Neutering a dog: Neutering (Spaying) a female dog requires the removal of the uterus and the ovaries. The operation is invasive and requires making an incision in the dogs’ abdomen. The ovaries affect the dogs production of hormones and these, if left intact, would help the bitch to develop into a possible puppy breeding factory (After all this is what nature intended).
With neutering (Castrating) a male dog the testes, which produce the hormone testosterone, are removed under anesthetic. This helps to stop the hormone from circulating around the body of the dog and in theory is supposed to help calm the male dominance trait, (This is not always a success).
Another method used, is to perform a vasectomy, where the spermatic cords are cut. Unfortunately it has little affect on the behavior of the dog and is normally used to prevent it from being used for breeding.
Whether you decide to have your puppy or older dog neutered is a major decision and one not to be taken lightly. Neutering a dog, whether male or female, is a relatively easy process surgically, but not emotionally.
So what type of emotions are involved and who is affected?
Many dog owners assume that having their puppy or dog neutered, will have little or no emotional affect on them and a minimal affect on their dog. This is often not the case. As veterinary surgeons will tell you, once the operation has been performed, it is very difficult for the process to be reversed.
Neutering has for many generations been influenced by gender, religion and culture. However neutering today is usually performed because of some underlying disease or behavioral problem. Sometimes the decision has to be taken very quickly in order to try and prevent any reoccurance of disease or behavioral situations.
So what reasons would make any owner want their puppy or dog neutering?
1 Because of an un-descended testicle in males.
2 Because of exhibiting aggressive tendencies.
3 Showing overly sexual behavior.
4 Because of preventing cancer later in the dogs’ life.
5 Eliminating unwanted puppies.
It has to be said that not all dog experts agree on the benefits of having a puppy neutered. Castrating a dog too early can cause the dog to display feminine characteristics and also affect its development both mentally and physically.
It would only be advisable to neuter a puppy early on in its life if it had an un-descended testicle. This procedure would be to prevent cancer developing later in the unfortunate dogs life.
The best time for a male dog to be castrated is around nine to twelve months, when is has begun to mature both mentally and physically. As larger breeds take longer to mature they are best left a little longer.
Females are usually spayed before their first season to eliminate the risk of developing pyometra, cancer of the breast and reproductive system. Usually the procedure will raise the life expectancy of the dog by around eighteen months when comparing them to a dog that has not been spayed.
There is evidence to suggest that some bitches, that have been spayed early, may develop an under-active thyroid later in their lives. In all cases the best person to give you advice is your veterinary surgeon, as to the risks involved, however the final decision will be yours.